90 killed in Iraq violence in one day

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By Ali Latif

Azzaman, December 17, 2013

At least 90 people were killed in Iraq on Monday in a spade of car bombings and suicide attacks.

Most of the attacks targeted Muslim Shiite pilgrims on their way to pay homage to one of their saints in the holy city of Karbala.

In one attack targeting Shiite pilgrims two car bombs were blown up in down town Baghdad killing 17 people and injuring at least 43.

But the attacks, mainly mounted by the Iraqi branch of al-Qaeda, are not confined to Shiites.

Suicide bombers with explosive belts mounted attacks on a police station in the predominantly Sunni city of Baiji, north of Baghdad, killing at least five police officers. Two of the attackers blew themselves up to pave the way for the attackers to storm the building.

More attacks were reported in Baiji in which 14 people were either killed or wounded in another al-Qaeda-mounted raid on the city’s municipal council. Five more police officers were killed in their defense of the council.

In their last count of casualties in Baghdad, the police said 27 more people were killed as a result of attacks across the capital.

In further violence

-          At least 12 Shiites from the northern city of Tal Affar were killed on their way for a visit to holy shrines in southern Iraq.

-          In Mosul, four police officers were killed and two dead bodies were found dumped in an open area.

-          In the Province of Anbar the dead bodies of two police officers were found following their abduction two days earlier.

-          In the Province of Salahudeen two other police officers were killed.

-          In Kirkuk two more police officers were killed as well as two sentries guarding oil installations.

-          An explosion targeting a checkpoint in Kirkuk led to the killing of two other police officers

Violence has currently spread across the country with the Kurdish region’s three provinces of Dahouk, Arbil and Sulaimaniya the only place in the country enjoying relative quiet.

Iraq’s latest upsurge in violence goes almost in unreported in international press, but even local media finds it hard to provide full coverage.